Monday, May 3, 2021

Return to Campus Town Hall coming up May 11

A fish-eye-lens view of the University campus.

President Feridun Hamdullahpur and Vice-President, Academic & Provost James Rush will be hosting a Return to Campus Virtual Town Hall Meeting for faculty and staff on Tuesday, May 11 live on Microsoft Teams.

Waterloo's senior leaders will outline the University’s plans to expand in-person experiences for many more of our students in the fall and how the University is preparing to invite more employees back to campus to support Waterloo’s academic mission.
Marilyn Thompson, associate provost, human resources will host and moderate the town hall event.

Attendees will be able to take part in a live Q&A following the president and provost's presentation. You can submit questions to the University's senior leaders as part of the registration process, by sending their questions to, or by using the hashtag #UWTH on social media.

Beyond the Bulletin podcast episode featuring two vintage microphones.To help provide context for the University's return to campus plans, there is a bonus episode of the Beyond the Bulletin podcast featuring School of Pharmacy Professor Kelly Grindrod, who was featured as an interview guest in early April. This special episode includes that earlier interview as well as a new one to tell you what you need to know about vaccines in Waterloo region right now. For those readers who might not be familiar with the Beyond the Bulletin podcast, it is a weekly jaunt beyond the pages and pixels of the Daily Bulletin to inform you about important news and views from our community. A transcript of the podcast episode will be available.

Register now for the Return to Campus Town Hall

Making vision a reality at the Waterloo Eye Institute

An artist's rendering of the proposed Waterloo Eye Institute.

A rendering of the proposed Waterloo Eye Institute building.

By Angie Docking. This article was originally published on Waterloo News.

Waterloo’s School of Optometry & Vision Science has received University approval to move forward on plans to create the Waterloo Eye Institute (WEI) — Canada’s premier eye and vision care centre. 

The WEI will leverage the expertise of the School’s faculty, its infrastructure and the power of Canada’s only English-speaking Optometry School to address the biggest challenges in vision science — that, along the School’s ambitious $35 million dollar campaign making this vision a reality. 

“With this state-of-the-art facility, we will be able to produce research of global impact, meet the growing demand for specialty eye care and deliver world-class optometric education,” said Dr. Stanley Woo, director, Waterloo’s School of Optometry & Vision Science.  

Approval of the WEI signals the University’s strong commitment to advancing the frontiers of vision science. Working with international architect firm HOK, the two-story, 67,000 sq. ft. cutting edge WEI will be a combination of existing and new facilities, blending clinical patient care spaces with education and innovation.  

The right care, at the right time, in the right place  

With a keen eye on increasing access to eye care for patients of all ages, the WEI will offer expanded specialty vision services here at home in areas of growing need — including low vision rehabilitation, ocular disease, dry eye, myopia control and vision therapy.  

The new, modernized clinic will be the largest eye and vision care centre in the Region of Waterloo and will provide seamless, comprehensive eye and vision care for residents — from wellness, through surgery, to rehabilitation. 

In the Region of Waterloo, wait times for cataract surgery are at an all-time high, and up to 65 per cent of eye procedures like retinal surgery are currently performed outside the community. To help solve this problem, the WEI will also feature an ambulatory surgical centre with three operatories. 

“The WEI will expand much needed eye and vision care services and help bridge some of the gaps in that exist in our community,” said Dr. Woo. “And best of all — they’ll be able to have convenient and coordinated access to exceptional specialty vision care.”  

Complementing these services will be a tele-optometry centre — linking providers with patients in remote and underserved communities across Canada. 

A global leader in optometric education and vision science 

Boasting new biological sciences and ocular imaging research centres, the WEI will expand capacity to promote research from cell to society. Harnessing the “eye as the window to the brain,” researchers will have the opportunity to study and create treatments for vision, body and brain diseases such as diabetes, macular degeneration, glaucoma, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease and stroke.  

Clinical research capacity will have a permanent home in the WEI, expanding the School’s ability to direct clinical trials including medtech evaluation and development. Such high impact research creates the ideal training for future optometrists, as they experience the synergies that come from discovery through to translation and application.  

“The WEI is a catalyst for a new era here at the School,” said Dr. Woo. “We are excited to have our students hone their clinical skills in this innovative environment, which will ensure they are trained for the highest level of contemporary practice anywhere in the world.” 

To date, $14 million of the $35 million fundraising campaign goal has been raised thanks to the support of the Canadian optometry profession, industry partners, foundations, friends, community members and the University. 

The School anticipates construction will begin in spring 2022.

Out with the old, in with the new

Your Impact is the heart of Waterloo banner.

A message from Heather Mair, Tony Munro and Jim Frank, Co-Chairs of the Faculty, Staff and Retiree Giving Program.

We’re excited to introduce you to the new Waterloo Faculty, Staff and Retiree Giving program. The former Keystone branding has been retired and replaced with a fresh new look that is uniquely Waterloo.

Throughout the month of May, the Faculty, Staff and Retiree Giving program will celebrate the impact of charitable support to Waterloo, and we invite you to join in.

What can your gifts do? They can touch lives across campus by:

  • creating a University experience that sets students up for career and personal success;
  • empowering faculty and researchers to find answers that improve our world;
  • enhancing spaces for learning, teaching and discovering;
  • supporting the University’s highest priorities

On May 11 check your email or the Daily Bulletin to find out how you can join in the fun.

Asian Heritage Month begins and other notes

A watercolour painting.

"May 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of the Senate of Canada’s Declaration of May as Asian Heritage Month, a Motion tabled by The Honourable Dr. Vivienne Poy, the first Canadian of Asian descent to be appointed to the Senate of Canada," says a note from Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion. "With 30 countries and many distinct regions and communities making up the Asian diaspora in Canada, this month offers an opportunity to honour and celebrate the contributions of diverse campus community members at Waterloo and beyond."

Check the HREI website for a list of community events in support of Asian Heritage Month.

Canadian Health Promoting Campuses Network.

The Canadian Health Promoting Campus Network, the University of Waterloo, the University of British Columbia, and McGill University are inviting you to save the date for "Centering Indigenous engagement in the work of wellbeing and health promotion," scheduled for May 17. Building on the first Leadership Event, the dialogue will:  

  • Discuss how institutions can approach the work of the Okanagan Charter through the lens of Indigenous engagement by learning from the strengths, knowledge, and practices of Indigenous Peoples', rooted in their diverse worldviews;

  • Explore ways to centre Indigenous worldviews and ways of being in our understanding of wellbeing and health promotion within the higher education model; and

  • Share stories on how Indigenous community members in higher education are leading change in wellbeing.

Attendees will hear from a diverse group of Indigenous leaders and students from higher education, health promotion and wellbeing, and beyond, including:

  • Elder Grouse Barnes, Westbank First Nation

  • Mark Solomon, Dean of Students and Indigenous Education, Seneca College and President of CACUSS. Mark will be joined by Indigenous students from across the country to engage in a conversation circle.

  • Dr. Sheryl Lightfoot, UBC Office of Indigenous Strategic Initiatives, Senior Advisor to the UBC President on Indigenous Affairs, Canada Research Chair of Global Indigenous Rights and Politics

  • Kathleen Leahy, Director, UBC Learning Exchange

Register for the event.

Link of the day

World Press Freedom Day

When and Where to get support

Students can visit the Student Success Office online for supports including academic development, international student resources, leadership development, exchange and study abroad, and opportunities to get involved.

Instructors can visit the Keep Learning website to get support on adapting their teaching and learning plans for an online environment.

Course templates are available within your course in LEARN to help you build and edit your content and assignment pages quickly.

The following workshops, webinars, and events are offered by the KL team (CTE, CEL, ITMS, LIB):

Employees can access resources to help them work remotely, including managing University records and privacy of personal information. Here are some tips for staying healthy while working from home.

Stay informed about COVID cases on campus by consulting the COVID case tracker.

The Writing and Communication Centre has virtual services and programs to help undergrads, grad students, postdocs and faculty members with academic writing.

Co-op students can get help finding a job and find supports to successfully work remotely, develop new skills, access wellness and career information, and contact a co-op or career advisor.

The Centre for Career Action assists undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, staff, faculty, and alumni through navigating career services that are right for them. You can attend a one-on-one appointment or same day drop-in session at the CCA for assistance with cover letter writing, career planning and much more. You can also book an appointment online or visit our Live Chat to connect with our Client Support Team. The CCA is here to help you.

If you feel overwhelmed or anxious and need to talk to somebody, please contact the University’s Campus Wellness services, either Health Services or  Counselling Services. You can also contact the University's Centre for Mental Health Research and TreatmentGood2Talk is a post-secondary student helpline available to all students.

The Library has published a resource guide on how to avoid information overload.

The Faculty Association of the University of Waterloo (FAUW) continues to advocate for its members. Check out the FAUW blog for more information.

The University of Waterloo Staff Association (UWSA) continues to advocate for its members. Check out the UWSA blog for more information.

The Indigenous Initiatives Office is a central hub that provides guidance, support, and resources to all Indigenous and non-Indigenous campus community members and oversees the university Indigenization strategy.

The Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre, based at St. Paul’s University College, provides support and resources for Indigenous students, and educational outreach programs for the broader community, including lectures, and events.

WUSA supports for students:

Peer support  - MATES, Glow Centre, RAISE, Women’s Centre - Visit to book an appointment

Bike Centre – Will be reopening soon

Campus Response Team, ICSN, Off Campus Community and Co-op Connection all available online. Check for more details.

Food Support Service food hampers are currently available from the Turnkey Desk on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the Student Life Centre. If you have any questions please email us at

Centre for Academic Policy Support - CAPS is here to assist Waterloo undergraduates throughout their experience in navigating academic policy in the instances of filing petitions, grievances and appeals. Please contact them at caps@wusa.caMore information is available.

WUSA Commissioners who can help in a variety of areas that students may be experiencing during this time:

WUSA Student Legal Protection Program - Seeking legal counsel can be intimidating, especially if it’s your first time facing a legal issue. The legal assistance helpline provides quick access to legal advice in any area of law, including criminal. Just call 1-833-202-4571

Empower Me is a confidential mental health and wellness service that connects students with qualified counsellors 24/7. They can be reached at 1-833-628-5589.

When and Where (but mostly when)

Healthy Warriors at Home (Online Fitness)

Drop-in to Warrior Virtual Study Halls on Wednesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Come together in this virtual space to set goals and work independently or in groups each week.

Renison English Language Institute continues to offer virtual events and workshops to help students practice their English language skills.

Warriors vs. Laurier Blood Donation Battle. Join your fellow Warriors, donate blood and help us win the Blood Battle against Laurier for a second year in a row. Set up a profile or add the PFL code: UNIV960995 to your account if you have a account already. Questions? Contact

English Conversation Circles, Monday, May 3.

Dissertation Boot Camp, Friday, May 7.

Return to Campus Virtual Town Hall, Tuesday, May 11, 1:30 p.m.

Breaking Free From Low Mood, Tuesday, May 11, 2:30 p.m.

36th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Biomaterials Society, Thursday, May 13 to Saturday, May 15. Hosted by the University of Waterloo.

Indigenous-Mennonite Encounters: Conference Preview, Thursday, May 13, 10:00 a.m.